A Look at the Managers of Tomorrow

A Look at the Managers of Tomorrow

Randstad recently published an excellent report on the Managers of Tomorrow, including some fascinating statistics and observations on what our managerial landscape might look like in the future. In his book, “The Future of Management,” Gary Hamel argues that the secret to long-term business success is “not operational excellence, technology breakthroughs, or new business models, but management innovation–new ways of mobilizing talent, allocating resources, and formulating strategies.” We’ll take a look at some predictions for the future and how we might be able to influence them.

Who wants to be a supervisor?

According to Randstad’s report, current employees have mixed feelings about the quality of managers currently, but their outlook of future supervisors looks somewhat bleak.

World at Work

The report goes on to suggest that “It’s clear that finding and preparing the next generation of managers is rapidly becoming one of the most critical business needs in the modern workplace.” The problem: future generations of employees aren’t embracing the role of a manager. “Employees watch their managers and see long hours, loads of new responsibilities and not much more money. Increased stress is the number one reason employees don’t want to become managers.”

What attracts employees to a manager role?

We’ve established that future generations might not currently embrace the role of a manager, but Ranstad’s report does provide some insight on what employees do find attractive about being a manager.

World at Work

So what makes management more attractive? “Maybe it begins with rethinking management.When we asked employees to list the reasons why they would want to be a manager, the answers were surprising. Power, status and money didn’t even make the list. The number one reason was being able to share my knowledge with others. Number two was being responsible for the success of an organization. And, number three was being able to influence decisions.”

Some Goals for the Future

In February, the Harvard Business Journal published an article featuring 25 Stretch Goals for Management in the 21st Century. Here are a couple interesting points from the article:

  • Redefine the work of leadership. The notion of the leader as a heroic decision maker is untenable. Leaders must be recast as social-systems architects who enable innovation and collaboration.
  • Create internal markets for ideas, talent, and resources. Markets are better than hierarchies at allocating resources, and companies’ resource allocation processes need to reflect this fact.
  • Depoliticize decision-making. Decision processes must be free of positional biases and should exploit the collective wisdom of the entire organization.
  • Retrain managerial minds. Managers’ traditional deductive and analytical skills must be complemented by conceptual and systems-thinking skills.
    (Source: “25 Stretch Goals for Management“, Harvard Business Journal)

Supervisory Training for Tomorrow’s Supervisor

Today’s work environment demands highly skilled frontline supervisors different from the command-and-control leaders of the past. People are not interested in working for someone who just gives orders daily and conducts evaluations annually. Today’s employees are looking for leaders who develop, support and coach them and keep them engaged.

In ERC’s popular Supervisory Series I, beginning September 8, participants learn the managerial and interpersonal skills necessary to handle all leadership interactions—including those that are emotionally charged—along with the ability to apply both of these skill sets in any leadership setting or interaction.

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